Page images

your conduct. If Mr. Schomberg5 is the Officer of your choice, send him. I have got the King's order for hoisting the Pope's colours, but since hearing of the Pope's death, I have sent for a confirmation. God bless you. I send you an extract of Mr. Wyndham's unhandsome mode of expressing himself towards me. Appoint a Vessel for that service— either Mutine or Transfer; the Cutter shall come to you tomorrow. Ever faithfully,




Palermo, October 2nd, 1799.

My dear Sir, The Portuguese brig shall be ready, or some other, by one o'clock, to carry General Naselli to Civita Vecchia. I send your Excellency a letter from Lisbon, by which you will sec that the Portuguese Squadron is ordered to return. This under our present circumstances is a very serious thing, as the 500 Marines landed from them will be re-embarked; and I am sorry to tell you that I have the most positive information from Toulon of loth September, that two Venetian Ships of the Line and five other Vessels are loaded with provisions and stores for Malta, of which I have given notice to the Marquis de Niza, that Ships might be stationed at proper places to intercept them, which will, I fear, be frustrated, if I cannot, not only get a Squadron, but troops, to land in Malta. I therefore beg leave to propose to your Excellency, whether under our present circumstances, it would not be right for his Sicilian Majesty to desire that the English garrison at Messina should instantly go to Malta, and also that Admiral Ouschakoff should be instantly wrote to, desiring he would send a part of his Squadron and troops to Malta, for I am clear, that if Malta is relieved, that our forces got together could not take it, and the commencement of a new blockade [would be] useless; and this would not be the worst consequence, for all the Barbary cruizers would there have their rendezvous, and not a Vessel of his Sicilian Majesty's could put to sea, and Great Britain and Russia not being at war with those Powers, the case would be dreadful, and ruinous to the subjects of his Sicilian Majesty. I have stated the situation under mature reflection, and have only to request it may be taken into immediate consideration.

5 Lientenant Charles Marsh Schomberg, Lieutenant of the Minotaur, from whom, and from her Captain, Louis, Sir Thomas Troubridge said, in his dispatches an nouncing the surrender of Komc, "he had received the greatest assistance." Mr. Schomberg was soon after made a Commander, and obtained the rank of Post-Captain in 1W!M. Ho died in January 1830, being then a Companion of the Bath, and a Knight Commander of the Order of the Guelphs.

Ever your Excellency's obedient Servant,

Bronte Nelson.



Palermo, October 2nd, 1799.

My dear Troubridge, I send you General Naselli, your old Leghorn friend, who is going Governor to Rome. The Court has nobody better— you may think they can have nobody worse. The Portuguese Squadron, by letter received this day, are ordered to Lisbon. I am more than ever anxious for your arrival, that, at least, we may lay wait for the Ships from Toulon. I have wrote again and again to Mahon for troops, but without effect . I have this day given my opinion in writing, that his Sicilian Majesty should desire the garrison of Messina to go to Malta, and also to Admiral Ouschakoff to be wrote to, for Ships and troops from Naples. Nothing shall be wanting on my part, but I am almost mad with the manner of going on here. Captain Bayley6 will tell you the Minorca news, and I have only to say how happy I shall be to see you; for believe me ever your affectionate friend,


As there is no Pope, it should be only the Cross Keys without the Tiara. General Acton says it is of no consequence whether the Tiara is in the Colours or no. His Sicilian Majesty only wishes to show the world that his views are disinterested. Zealous, Majestic, and Seahorse, are sailed for England.

5 Apparently Captain Thomas Bayley, who was made a IPost-Captain on the 15th of March, 1S00, aud died between 1816 and 18^0.



Sir, Palermo, .'nd October, 1/99.

As Captain Bayley, of His Majesty's Ship L'Alcestc, has been constantly employed in the conducting of Convoys up and down the Mediterranean to Mahon since he has been in the command of that Ship, I request that he may be allowed to put my orders of this date in execution, on his arrival with the Convoy from Messina at Mahon, relating to his cruizing on the Coast of Spain, for three weeks, if His Majesty's service will admit thereof. I am, &c.,



My dear Marquis, Palermo, 3rd October, 1789.

I have received a letter from Don Roderigo de Souza, saying, that as the Squadron under your orders were not now necessary in the Mediterranean, his Royal Highness had directed their return. Upon this belief your orders are founded; but as the contrary is the fact—for your services were never more wanted than at this moment, when every exertion is wanting to get more troops of English and Russians to Malta—I must, therefore, most positively desire that your Excellency will not on any consideration withdraw one man from the shore, or detach any Ship down the Mediterranean. On the contrary, keep this fine Brig, and I will in two days send you the Balloon; and I send you an order to justify your Excellency's not complying with his Royal Highness's orders, and I am confident he will approve of my conduct.

Should the Russian Admiral come to Malta, I am sure you will act like brothers. I am going to Minorca to get ten Sail of the Line together, in order, should the Squadron of thirteen Sail of the Line and one Three-decker, seen off Cape Finisterre on the 18th of September, be bound into the Mediterranean, which I am satisfied they are not, but trying for our outward bound Convoy. Ever yours affectionately,




Palermo, 3rd October, 1799.

As the reduction of the Island of Malta is of the greatest consequence to the interests of the Allied Powers at war with France, and the withdrawing the Squadron of His Most Faithful Majesty under your command, at this time, from the blockade of that Island, will be of the most ruinous consequences to their interests, particularly when an Enemy's fleet of thirteen Sail of the Line are daily expected in those seas, and two Sail of the Line and several other Ships with provisions and stores, for the relief of Malta, are now lading at Toulon; you are hereby required and directed, in consideration of the above circumstances, and notwithstanding the orders you may have received from your Court to return to Lisbon, not on any consideration whatsoever to withdraw one man from that Island, which may have been landed from the Squadron from under your Excellency's command, or detach one Ship down the Mediterranean, until further orders from me for that purpose; and you are also required to keep the Brig which will bring you these dispatches, and employ her for the good of the service; and the Balloon shall be sent to you in a few days, which you may, if you think proper, send to Lisbon with your dispatches.


[Autograph, in the possession of Sir William Keith Boll, Bart.]

Palermo, October 3rd, 1791).

My dear Ball, I hope Brigadier-General Graham' will soon be with you and some Russians. I have strained every nerve to get you troops. With respect to rank and command, General Graham will command his, and, if you like, some of yours. You arc Chief of the Maltese people, and in all matters will have an important voice, with a most undoubted right to sign the Capitulation. I only touch on the subject, but I well know your conciliating manners will make everything go on smooth. Niza was ordered to Lisbon, but I have directed his stay off Malta. You may depend, in October, I will get 2000 men on shore at Malta. I have but two mortars and 700 shells in the Alliance for your use; she goes to Messina to take Graham on board. I am going to Mahon to get together ten Sail of the Line to meet the thirteen, should they come our way. They were seen on the 18th September off Cape Fiuisterre and Ortegal. Our secret expedition is thought to go on well; our troops are all landed in the Texel. God bless you, and send you a speedy finish of your hard and long labour. Ever yours faithfully,

'Afterwards General Lord I.yuedoch, G.C.B.


My dear Sir, Palermo, October 3rd, 1799.

You will most likely have an application from His Sicilian Majesty to go with part of your garrison to Malta, which is an object now of the very greatest importance to the Two Sicilies, and also what our Government has much at heart to finish.8 The Russian Admiral will be wrote to in the same manner to go to Malta with what troops it is thought proper to withdraw from Naples. Some Russians are also expected at Leghorn, destined for the service of Malta.

■ General Graham did not consider himself authorized to quit his post at Messina; and his Commander-in-Chief, Sir James St. Clair Erskine, writing to Lord Nelson, on the 31st of October, said: "The probability of General Fox being able to form and detach such a corps as may be adequate to undertake the siege of Malta, becomes now much more doubtful: a few days, however, must clear up all these points. 1 find that the Marquis de Niza, Captain Ball, and General Acton, have all written, to try to induce Colonel Grnham to embark with a part of his corps for Malta: in answer to which he has acted in strict obedience to his instructions, and in my opinion w ith the most perfect propriety; for no Offieer would have been justified, even if left to his discretion, in furming a project for besieging 5000 men, and proceeding on active operations, with a corps of 000 men only. I mention this, because 1 collect from Graham's letter that the last application was pressed, even after his answer that he could not take any step without orders from Minorca."— Clarke and 3f'Arthur, vol. ii. p. 224.

« PreviousContinue »